Do not give our Ladywell Playtower to the union-busting Picturehouse / Cineworld chain!
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The Mayor of Lewisham is currently deciding if the council should give the publically-owned Ladywell Playtower to the union-busting Picturehouse chain.
- Picturehouse is owned by Cineworld, who made £82million profit last year.
- Despite these massive profits, Picturehouse refuse to pay staff a living wage
- They sacked workers who were involved in union activities.
- They routinely use zero-hours contracts that force employees to live in fear of overnight destitution.
- They recently threatened to sack staff who went on strike for better conditions.
The Playtower was built in 1884 as a public bath- it is a public asset owned by us and any future use of the building needs to benefit the community. It is hard to imagine how something could be less beneficial for people in Lewisham than an employer that treats us like dirt. There are 3 other bids on the table, two of which include cinema facilities (see here). Steve Bullock will decide the winning bidder, who will be gifted the building so that it can be brought back to life.
There is already a 5-screen picturehouse only 1.6 miles away, and there are 3 picturehouses within 5 miles of the Playtower.
Lewisham council is a living wage employer, so they acknowledge the importance of paying staff enough to survive in the local area. Lewisham is a Labour-run council, so it should support unions like BECTU- who support a Picturehouse boycott and whose members are on strike in Picturehouses.
A successful bid for Picturehouse/Cineworld would only encourage its shareholders to believe nobody cares about the living wage or decent working conditions. It would strengthen Cineworld’s desire to withhold their massive profits from the hard-working staff who make them, since objectors would be seen as powerless. It would be irresponsible of our council to hand Picturehouse a public victory over those of us who support fair pay and decent working conditions.
Lewisham deserves better. Any other bid is better than the Picturehouse bid. We call on the mayor to reject the Picturehouse bid, make it clear the bid was rejected because of Picturehouse's employment practices and call for the reinstatement of sacked union activists at the Brixton Ritzy.
If you agree with us, it's important to share this petition and tell all your friends to keep an eye on Twitter / Facebook, where we will post information about how to get involved in actions to save our Playtower from Picturehouse / Cineworld if the mayor approves their bid.
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2017/07/ picturehouse-cinema-strikes- are-becoming-emblematic- battle-workers-rights
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/13/now- showing-ritzy-low-pay- exploitation-picturehouse- chain-poverty-wages-cinema- staff
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/02/ picturehouse-threatens-to- sack-striking-workers-in- dispute-over-pay
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